For as long as artworks have been created, humans and nature have seemingly conspired to destroy them. Because of age or abuse, all art objects eventually need to be reparied, restored, or conserved. These three techniques may seem confusingly similar to lay readers, but they differ greatly in purpose and method. In his introduction, Oddy clarifies these terms and describes various methods of repair, restoration, and conservation, explaining the rationale behind them. He also discusses such common causes of damage as pests, atmospheric conditions, and vandalism and the treatment needed to remedy the damage. Subsequent chapters by British and Italian conservators give the case histories of various objects--vases, statues, frescoes, an iron helmet, silver bowls, a drawing on paper, a painting, and a tapestry--with photographs and diagrams documenting each stage in their conservation. Recommended for specialized libraries in the arts and museum studies, as well as public libraries.-- Margarete Gross, Chicago P.L.
Experts directly involved in the conservation of 11 important works of art made of different materials--including metals, wood, glass, ceramics, and textiles--describe the problems they faced and the methods they used to overcome them. The introduction outlines the development of modern conservation techniques and current research, as well as discussing changing attitudes to conservation and restoration and the ethical questions involved. With 113 b&w and 58 color illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This well-illustrated volume surveys the skills, techniques, and ethics of modern museum conservation from the perspectives and experience of a dozen experts in the field. Andrew Oddy of the British Museum introduces the book with a history of conservation and the establishment of today's professional and scientific approach. Various causes of deterioration and damage are described, including pollution and vandalism, while the tremendous delicacy, accuracy, and patience of conservators are vividly conveyed. Succeeding chapters follow the progress of specific restoration projects, each involving different materials, methods, and circumstances as well as unexpected discoveries about the object's history and creation. The repair of a shotgun blast to Leonardo da Vinci's cartoon for "The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist" required microscopic study of fibers and particles, while the Portland Vase, a rare example of Roman cameo glass that had been shattered and glued back together at least twice, had to be completely broken down and reassembled. Conservators detail the cleaning and restoration of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes, a statue of the Bodhisattva Guanyin, a seventeenth-century portrait by Robert Peake the Elder, a medieval tapestry, and the 1,400-year-old Anglo-Saxon Sutton Hoo helmet.